EDINBURGH’S transfer saga of the summer ended yesterday when the Northern Irish international forward Kyle Lafferty signed on at Hearts on a two year contract.
Neil Lennon had attempted to nip in and steal the player from under the noses of the Jam Tarts but his fellow countryman decided that the deal on offer from the Tynecastle club was the one to go for.
Now Lafferty can’t wait for the season to start as he leads the line for the club in what is shaping up to be a highly competitive Premiership.
Ian Cathro believes that his new signing is the man to get the goals for Hearts and has handed Lafferty the Hearts number 9 jersey as a signal of intent.
One of the Northern Ireland coaches, Austin MacPhee, is also Cathro’s assistant at Hearts and played a big part in getting the player to join the club after his rather unhappy time at Norwich came to an end. Lafferty will be desperate to get regular football and to score goals as he looks towards the World Cup qualification with Northern Ireland.
“I just wanted to come to somewhere where I can play football,” he said.
“I’ve got an important year ahead of me. I’m hoping to make the World Cup with Northern Ireland, so it’s an important year and I’ve been told I’ll be a main focal point of the team, which over the past two or three years I’ve thrived on and I’ve produced the goods.”
Lafferty is Northern Ireland’s second-highest scorer of all time, with 20 goals and having him back playing and in decent scoring form is vital for their qualification chances.
“Having Austin nibbling my ear for the last four to six months played a massive part in me coming here,” Lafferty revealed.
“Knowing how passionate the fans are about their club and their football, it’s important that I was coming to a place where I know I’d get along with the supporters.
“Having spoken to Ian, the way he wants the team to play football and the way I play my football, I’m sure that we’ll click.”